The Opportunity

Providing timely support is vital. Addressing a child or family’s needs early on can reduce risk factors and increase protective factors in a child’s life. Early Intervention Foundation (Eif), 2021 We recognise the challenges of inequality here in Bradford, made worse through the pandemic which widened disadvantage and deprivation, creating wide learning gaps between children living in different postcode areas of our district. The conditions are in place to make rapid progress. Bradford is uniquely able to model smarter place-based planning and delivery of services.

Our founder group, The Centre for Applied Education Research (CAER) has a global profile, leading the way with ground-breaking research and innovative public policy. A community comprising the Universities of Leeds, York, Leeds Trinity and Bradford, CAER has the expertise to inform, model and evaluate innovative projects and to inform and model complex system change. Including the world’s largest cohort study: Born in Bradford – Age of Wonder, Bradford is already generating a growing body of evidence on factors affecting children’s development, spanning health, education, care and environment. CAER is already leading the way in supporting the roll-out of innovative practices which are improving outcome for children.

A Bold Ambition to Build an Alliance for Life Chances

Building on the legacy of the Bradford Opportunity Area (BOA) commitment to improve social mobility, the ALC's aim is to tackle structural inequalities that exist in both health and education for children and young people (aged 0-25) in Bradford. We will do this by championing evidence-informed approaches to improving the life chances of children and young people. Our ambition is modelled on the Feltham Convening project delivered by the Reach Foundation who’s aim is to bring together partners to achieve collective impact that can make a positive difference to children and young people from ‘cradle to career’ – meaning considering their life journey and key transition points.


Our partnership will work together to tackle structural inequalities and champion evidential approaches to improving the life chances of children and young people.

By 2040

Children in Bradford live healthy, emotionally adjusted lives where they have equity of access to educational opportunities, the place where they live is safe and thriving and their health and learning needs don’t hold them back.

Our Alliance will work together with our individual and collective connections to drive change forward through working with the community to support initiatives that reduce inequalities. We will commit to acting early, focusing on preventative approaches rather than treatment. We aim to increase awareness of our ambition through a number of key projects and we recognise through previous learning and delivery from our predecessor programme that we must target resources effectively by supporting the most disadvantaged children and young people and respond to the level of presenting need according to a specific locality or geography. We aim to work with practitioners on the ground to join up services and support offers to make sure children and families get the right support and the right time. We will do this by growing local cross-sector community partnerships to improve outcomes for children and young people through our Act Locally methodology. Its purpose is to use schools’ and Early Years settings’ position at the heart of communities to enable them to act as a hub of multi-service delivery within a geographical area or place. Schools and Early Years settings are key anchor institutions both because they know the children (and families) who attend them, because they are key points of contact for other services and known to the wider community and because these institutions places children spend most of their time.

Communities are at the Centre - and Every Voice Matters

Our Alliance would like everyone to play their part in growing opportunity for all of Bradford’s children and young people over the next 20 + years. In our quest to reduce inequality, our communities are therefore at the heart of our mission. It is those families, parents, carers and individuals that have lived experience of what needs to change and those that want to be our supporters who are key to realising and achieving our mission. We need help from our local communities to achieve our mission and therefore we are aiming to secure their involvement and buy in through a pledge of support. The aim is to galvanize community support in our ambition. We will listen carefully and build this together. This may take time but we believe we need to take the time to develop this properly with others who want to be involved.

Our Growth and Development

Our Alliance will drive forward a number of key projects each taking an estimated 3-5 years to achieve and then our Partnership Board will review the strategic plan to set a further trajectory that aligns with reducing inequalities. We anticipate whilst key projects may change over the next 20 years our ambition and drive to reduce inequalities for children and young people in Bradford and beyond will stay the same. All of our projects will be aligned to four key themes;

  • Centre of Applied Education Research Activity
  • Inside the School Gates
  • Activity Beyond the School Gates
  • Act Locally

Supporting the Alliance for Life Chances means:

  • Driving down inequalities at locality level
  • Using evidential approaches that change the way we work for better outcomes
  • Putting the voice of children and young people at the heart of service delivery
  • Championing social mobility
  • Influencing policy to ensure it reflects an integrated approach to reducing inequalities

If you are keen to get involved we want to hear from you. Please Email: [email protected]